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Others Like “Applying Hooke's Law: Make Your Own Spring Scale”

Project Idea
thumbnail Many things in nature are periodic: the seasons of the year, the phases of the moon, the vibration of a violin string, and the beating of the human heart. In each of these cases, the events occur in repeated cycles, or periods. In this project you will investigate the periodic motion of a spring, using a mini Slinky®. Basic physics will then allow you to determine the Hooke's Law spring constant. Your analysis will also yield the effective mass of the spring, a factor that is important in… Read more
Phys_p064
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Are you interested in things like prosthetic limbs and artificial joints that can help people with disease or injury to lead a normal life? Or maybe you're interested in sports medicine or physical therapy? Either way, this project could be a good match for you. Find out how the tension on the knee joint changes as a function of angle by building a simple mechanical model. Read more
HumBio_p006
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites To do this project, you should be handy with basic woodworking tools
Material Availability Specialty item (guitar string tuning mechanism)
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision required (power tools used for assembly)
Project Idea
thumbnail Many materials expand when heated and contract when cooled. What do you think will happen to the elasticity (stretchiness) of a rubber band when it is heated or cooled to various temperatures? Read more
ApMech_p026
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This project requires some specialty items. They can all be purchased online, or you may be able to borrow them from school. See the Materials and Equipment section below for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is required for heating and pouring boiling water.
Project Idea
Is an I-beam as strong as a solid beam of the same size? What if you include weight in the comparison: which beam has the greater strength-to-weight ratio? Would an I-beam be stronger than a solid rectangular beam of the same weight? What about other structural shapes (e.g., T-beams, U-beams)? In this project you can find out by setting up a test stand, putting on your safety goggles and measuring how much stress these building components can handle before they snap. Read more
MatlSci_p011
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury possible: Wear safety glasses when testing beam capacity. Keep hands and feet clear of the area underneath the weight bucket, which may fall at any time.
Project Idea
thumbnail Want to do a project with a toy your parents, or even grandparents, might have played with? Slinkies are fun toys that also make great physics and engineering projects. In this science project you will investigate how changing the angle of an inclined plane affects how the Slinky walks down it. What angle will enable the Slinky to go for the best walk? Read more
ApMech_p019
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail This is a modern version of a classic experiment by Robert Boyle on the compressibility of gases. Boyle discovered the relationship between pressure and volume of gases that now bears his name. This project shows you a simple method for re-creating this famous experiment. Read more
Chem_p011
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Minor injury possible: be careful when stacking bricks on syringe apparatus.
Project Idea
The funny thing about friction is that you couldn't get anywhere without it, yet it still acts to slow you down as you're getting there. Here is an easy project to measure the effects of friction. Read more
ApMech_p012
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Did you know that when you dip your finger in water and pull it out, the water is actually pulling back on you? Here's a way you can measure how much. Read more
Phys_p012
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites Basic physics: understanding of the concept of a force
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Suspension bridges, with their tall towers, long spans, and gracefully curving cables, are beautiful examples of the work of civil engineers. How do the cables and towers carry the load that is on the bridge? Can a suspension bridge carry a greater load than a simple beam bridge? This science project shows you how to find out. Read more
CE_p007
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Strike a key on the piano, and you hear the string vibrating. Just about any object vibrates when it's knocked, but how much and how fast? What properties of the material affect the way it vibrates? This project helps you find out. You'll build a simple light-sensing circuit for measuring the frequency of vibrating springs. Read more
ApMech_p015
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Windows/PC
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
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